Sooner or later, I’ll catch an aurora. Sure, living in the Midwest, that might be a bit difficult. But if the Sun keeps throwing solar fastballs at Earth, you figure eventually we’ll get a light show down here.
In fact, I might get the chance sooner than I thought.
It’s all courtesy our friend Sunspot AR1520, which has been shooting out coronal ejections this month like some kind of plasma Death Star (it’s the size of 15 Earths “set end to end,” too, so don’t make it angry).
The last solar flare (an X1.4 class) was just a few days ago, on Thursday, July 12, and it’s supposed to hit Earth any second now. That means “electromagnetic disruptions,” weird weather (?) and one hell of a fireworks display, if you will, which according to one NASA scientist might actually appear as far south as Alabama.
I’m skeptical of that, but who knows (it’s happened before, so maybe I shouldn’t be).
Update: Hey, look, there was an aurora over Iowa.
This X-class CME follows a series of July C- and M-class solar flares, as well as another powerful X1-class flare on July 6 (from sunspot AR1515) and an X1.1-class flare that occurred in March. We can expect the Sun’s activity to continue to rise as we enter its solar maximum, which will peak next year.